Opponent Wants Soccer Team Killed in Crash Made Champion

76 people died when Chapecoense's plane crashed Tuesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2016 2:31 PM CST
Soccer Team Killed in Plane Crash May Be Given Trophy
Flowers hang from a soccer net at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, on Tuesday. A chartered plane that was carrying the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to the biggest match of its history crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces, Colombian officials said Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

After Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense lost most of its players in a plane crash Tuesday, the team it was on its way to play for the South American championship has requested Chapecoense be awarded the trophy, the AP reports. According to the Telegraph, Colombia's Atletico Nacional says naming Chapecoense the champions would be "an honorary award for this great loss and in posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident." Atletico Nacional concludes its statement: "For our part, and forever, Chapecoense are champions of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana." The South American Football Federation is expected to honor the request.

All but six of the 81 people aboard the flight died in the crash, which is being blamed on an electrical failure. The six survivors have been identified as Chapecoense players Alan Ruschel, Helio Zampier, and Jakson Follmann; journalist Rafael Valmorbida; and crew members Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri. All suffered "severe trauma injuries." Brazilian President Michel Temer has declared three days of official mourning. Chapecoense was on the verge of wrapping up its best season in decades, if not ever. (More plane crash stories.)

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